There are many trends that will carry on making waves throughout 2019, generating hot stocks and countless opportunities. This year could see the mainstream rise of veganism, a real breakthrough in virtual reality technology and the takeoff of cannabis derivatives in Canada.
These are just a few trends of particular importance that could really shine and you can take advantage of these trends by using them to trade stocks and pick winners in the financial markets. To find out which trends produce the most stocks on the rise, take a look below.
The Economist has predicted that 2019 is the year of the vegan. The vegan movement is becoming more ubiquitous in society. Five years ago there was a substantial number of people who didn’t know what veganism was, and now, you see adverts for vegan substitutes for cheese or meat on prime time television.
In 2018, it was estimated that around 5% of the population was vegan, but this is expected to change drastically this year if Veganuary is anything to go by. Veganuary is an initiative which encourages and supports people to try a vegan diet throughout January, and this year it had a record number of sign-ups.
Veganism is starting to gain commercial acceptance. Big food giants that were once scared of meat-alternatives and plant-based foods damaging their revenues are now embracing these products, adapting what they sell with changes in consumer tastes and fashions. The meat-free food phenomenon is set to generate many hot stocks this year and is a trend to keep your eye on.
In 2017, McDonalds launched a trial ‘McVegan’ burger in Sweden and Finland, which soon became a social media hit and a great success in its own right, earning itself a permanent place on the Scandinavian menu. In December 2018, the company made the decision to add the burger to their Chicago global headquarters menu – which is infamous for being a quasi-database for popular international items. Since this move, there has been a revival in calls for the McVegan to become part and parcel of the mainstream menu.
Tyson Foods, a US multinational corporation, is the second biggest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork globally. A brand so commonly associated with meat is now making the move towards producing and marketing plant-based foods. This is another prime example of a key player in the ‘Big Meat’ industry moving with the times instead of opposing the change. In 2016, Tyson Foods made a 5% investment in plant-based food company Beyond Meat, after which Tyson invested a further sum by the end of 2017. In early 2019, CEO Noel White announced that the company plans to spend the year focused on creating new vegan proteins to rival current products in this space. Tyson Foods could become one of the biggest plant-based foods stocks on the rise if it can successfully penetrate this market.
Whether you think that veganism for the masses is just a fad, or that it’s here to stay, one thing is evident: the consumption of meat-free foods will be bolstered this year, and this is likely to take some stocks with it.
Canadian cannabis production
Cannabis was legalised for medicinal purposes nationwide across Canada in 2003. Since then, the federal Cannabis Act came into effect on 17 October 2018, making Canada the second country in the world (after Uruguay) to formally legalise the cultivation, possession, acquisition and consumption of cannabis and its by-products.
Canada is the first G20 nation to do legalise cannabis for recreational purposes. As of October 2018, the largest Canadian cannabis producer was Canopy Growth. After an initial tumble for Canadian cannabis stock upon legalisation, 2019 holds big hope for further growth in the Canadian cannabis market, which is likely to mature a lot this year. When the Cannabis Act was passed, cannabis-infused beverages and cannabis edibles were only to become legal one year after legalisation of traditional cannabis products. So while edibles and cannabis-infused drinks will be available no later than 17 October 2019, we could potentially be set for another crucial moment for cannabis stocks in Canada.
Despite the Canadian public health department, Health Canada, regulating against the possibility of alcohol and cannabis-mixed beverages, alcoholic beverage giants are rushing into the Canadian market. Constellation Brands, an international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits and the company behind Corona beer, has partnered up with Canopy Growth. Although established alcohol companies will not be able to mix their beverages with the psychoactive components of cannabis, they’re joining the market to make their own THC-infused drinks. These are the real stocks to watch when discussing Canada’s cannabis market. Once cannabis-derivatives are legalised later on this year, it will be the drinks companies that could see the most promise, with many hot stocks in this area.
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Given the rapid rate of technology and automation, it is hardly a surprise that virtual reality, and its more recent relative augmented reality, are trends set to carry on flourishing throughout 2019.
New solutions allow people to completely immerse themselves in a technologically-generated world where they can interact with a variety of elements – whether that be virtual reality (VR), where the world is completely computer-generated, or augmented reality (AR), where a computer overlays graphics onto the already existing environment. VR and AR is leading the forefront of technological development, witnessing various stocks on the rise in this industry.
While virtual and augmented reality have been around for a while, recent innovations in related spheres are set to really boost virtual reality trends in 2019. Artificial intelligence is now being integrated into VR and AR systems, which is enhancing the capability of these technologies – allowing cognition-based AR and VR functionality. This can be seen in mobile applications such as Snapchat and Instagram filters that use AI-based technologies to provide image enhanced combined with AR.
Facebook is one of many hot stocks that could see big returns from VR and AR. The social media giant acquired the virtual reality company Oculus in 2014 for $3 billion. Oculus is one of the fastest-growing companies operating in the VR space. Oculus Quest – the world’s first all-in-one gaming system built for VR – is set to be launched in 2019 after a long wait. This launch will be a crucial moment for both the Oculus, and subsequently, the Facebook share price.
Walmart has announced that it will be using 17,000 Oculus Go headsets to train its employees in a variety of differing skills, ranging from compliance to customer service. This use of VR and AR in teaching and training is not only an increasing trend in this sector, but one that Oculus aims to profit from. Speculation suggests that Oculus software will be brought in to further develop Facebook’s virtual reality projects, potentially adding a lot of value to both companies.
As with any groundbreaking technological development, Apple is never far behind in developing software to take advantage of these advances. It has been rumoured for years that Apple has been creating an augmented reality headset. However, at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2018, the company announced that they created a new file format for AR that can be shared within the iOS operating system that runs on the iPhone and iPad. This capability can be used to view 3D overlays on existing environments. The uses are numerous and can be as trivial as seeing what a chair would look like in a room at home for instance.
Although it is still early days for Apple, what is clear is that the tech giant will be making big moves as VR becomes more and more popular. Apple could be one of the biggest hot stocks in the VR market when it releases the rumoured integrated headset using this technology.
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This article is only market commentary and should not be construed as investment research or advice.